Milan Opened Talks With Leao Agent Over Contract Extension

Milan and Jorge Mendes have reportedly opened talks over Rafael Leao’s contract extension until 2026. According to Calciomercato, the Rossoneri are keen to tie their overachieving winger down to a new long-term deal amid growing foreign interest. 

Leao endured a rough period of adaptation at the Stadio San Siro since arriving from Lille in 2019. The 22-year-old’s early showings for Milan led to speculation about his premature exit as he often struggled for form and regular first-team football under former boss Marco Gianpaolo. He even failed to establish himself as a permanent fixture at the start of Stefano Pioli’s reign.

However, Leao’s career trajectory at Milan has taken an upward curve since the start of last season. The Portuguese forward enjoyed more than a decent 2020/21 campaign. His tally of six goals and six assists in Serie A last term helped the Rossoneri nail long-awaited Champions League promotion through an unexpected runner-up finish.

Leao has continued to go from strength to strength this season, already amassing four goals and one assist across Milan’s opening ten top-flight fixtures. Since he’s become a pivotal first-team member and one of the main reasons Pioli’s men have grown into genuine title candidates, the club wants to reward the youngster with a new long-term deal.

With Leao’s current contract running out in summer 2024, Milan have plenty of time to work on the player’s extension. However, the Rossoneri chiefs are reluctant to take anything by chance following their unpleasant experience with the likes of Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu.

And while waiting to see how extension talks will develop, Milan fans will get to see Leao’s qualities first-hand on Sunday evening against Roma. Since Ante Rebic has yet to return to full fitness, the ex-Lille winger will have to take responsibility despite enduring some physical problems of his own.